Students have returned to school and we are getting back into the “academic year” rhythm of things. The Church continues its celebration of Ordinary Time, reminding us more and more about how we are to live as followers of Christ. For instance, in the gospel on the 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (September 3), Jesus tells us that "[w]hoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Challenging words, for sure, but ones which are spoken by someone who knows about denial, suffering and death, someone who has “walked the walk and talked the talk”. These are words which also come with a guarantee from Jesus himself that he will always be with us. You can prepare for all of the Sunday readings at liturgy.slu.edu.
Most American Catholics have ancestral, if not immediate, families who came to the United States from other parts of the world. While the issue of immigration has become a somewhat divisive one in our country today, our Church understands the need for care and concern for those people who are on the move. (See the USCCB webpage, bit.ly/USCCBtopics, for the United States’ Bishops’ answers to some questions you may have about ministries to migrants in our country.) On September 24, the global Catholic Church celebrates the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR). This year’s theme, set by Pope Francis himself, is “Free to choose whether to migrate or stay”. The Vatican website, which offers many resources to remember this day (bit.ly/MigrantsPF), says that the WDMR is “always an occasion to express concern for different vulnerable people on the move; to pray for them as they face many challenges; and to increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers”. You can read the pope’s WDMR message at bit.ly/PFMessage2023.
This month our Church celebrates in a special way the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our parish patron, on September 8. We also celebrate the feast of St. Matthew on September 21, one of Jesus’ original apostles and the man for whom the Church has named the gospel which we read this liturgical year. Finally, on September 27, we remember St. Vincent de Paul, a 17th century French Catholic priest who served the poor of his time with great tenderness and care. Our own St. Vincent de Paul Society, one member council of an international organization founded in 1833 and a national network of 4500 councils (ssvpusa.org), carries on St. Vincent’s work here in Franklin. You can read a short reflection on the lives of each of the saints noted above, and many more, at the Franciscan Media site, bit.ly/FMSaints.BACK TO LIST